Bildt supports EU candidacy for Serbia

Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner have pronounced their support for eventual Serbian membership in the EU.

“We want Serbia to be given official EU candidate country status as soon as possible, and are prepared to help Serbia to move towards accession, proud of its history and focused on the future. We want the citizens of Serbia to be able to travel freely within the Schengen area,” write the pair in an opinion article published on Wednesday in several newspapers across Europe.

The article appears on the fifth anniversary of the murder of Serbian prime minister Zoran Djindjic who wanted to accelerate Serbia’s ties to the EU.

The simplified visa procedures which began at the start of 2008 for Serbian citizens isn’t enough, say the two foreign ministers.

“It is time for the EU to open a process with Serbia with a view to lifting visa requirements altogether,” they write.

The article appeared in Wednesday’s Göteborgs-Posten, Le Figaro, The Times, La Republica, El Pais, and Bilc newspapers.